Farming for future generations

Regenerative farming is ensuring a healthy ecosystem and economy today and tomorrow.


Agriculture is one of the most important economic sectors in America. It is the foundation of food production, and the Feeding the Economy report ties directly and indirectly 29 percent of jobs to food and agriculture sectors. 

However, America’s current method of farming is not maintainable. Most farmers in the U.S. till. The practice of till-farming permanently damages soil and makes it unusable for produce. More than 50 percent of America’s topsoil has eroded largely due to the constant use of tilling. 

No-till farming is a regenerative farming practice that improves soil health without sacrificing the amount of products yielded. The process involved making furrows in the soil, planting seeds and immediately covering the seeds with soil. 

The practice also improves the water cycle process of the ecosystem. It increases water retention in the soil, which in contrast to bare soil caused by tilling, heats up the environment. Eventually this, in turn, stabilizes the rainfall which leads to more crops produced. 

Most farms do not practice no-till because the equipment is more expensive. Even if so, the returns of no-till make the initial higher purchase likely worth the risk. An article from cites FINBIN, a national farm financial database, that says “net returns per acre show a loss of $50.95 per acre with conventional tillage and a profit of $6.52 per acre with no-till and cover crop management practices.” 

The government should incentivize farmers to no-till because the conservation of agriculture is important to the economy and the people. The 2018 No Farm Bill passed by Donald Trump financially incentivized farmers to no-till. The Biden Administration invested 2.8 billion in 70 selected projects under the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities. It also increased the budget of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which predicts the projects will result in more than 20-25 million acres of working land that “engage in climate smart production,” such as no-till. Recent administrations from both parties have made progress in incentivizing regenerative farming. What could be done in the future is subsidizing new farms to pay for no-till equipment. 

According to the USDA, agriculture contributed 1.055 trillion dollars to the U.S. gross domestic product in 2020, which is a five percent share. Agriculture also contributes to many other jobs, such as restaurants, food sales, nutrition research and more. Not only is conservation an important matter ecologically, but also economically.  

In North Dakota, agriculture is the largest sector of its economy. The state is a top 5 producer in many crops. Conservation should be a primary concern for politicians in the state to ensure a better future for generations to come.